Walking tours of Vienna’s Old Town generally include a stroll through Freyung Square to take in its highlights, including the yellow-and-white stucco façade of Palace Daun-Kinsky, which dates from 1717; Ferstel Palace, built in 1860 and home to Vienna’s famous Café Central as well as the upmarket, arcaded Freyung Passage shopping mall; and the nearby Bank Austria Kunstforum, which holds frequent cutting-edge contemporary-art exhibitions. Freyung Square hosts two of Vienna’s most popular and traditional seasonal markets, so it is a highlight of Christmas and Easter tours.
Things to know before you go
- Choose comfortable shoes and dress for the weather if taking in Freyung Square as part of a Vienna walking tour.
- The square is home to a number of historic and trendy cafés where you can experience the city’s iconic coffee shop culture first hand.
- On summer weekends, the square holds an organic farmers’ market where you can pick up local specialties and picnic supplies.
- This pedestrian-only square is well-paved and easy to navigate with a wheelchair or stroller.
How to get there
Freyung Square is located in the Innere Stadt district and can be reached by metro line U2 or U3, getting off at the Schottentor or Herrengasse stops. Otherwise, the square is an easy stroll from many of the top sights in Vienna’s historic center.
When to get there
The square is open 24 hours a day, and is bustling with locals and tourists from morning until late into the evening. Stop by on weekend mornings to browse the farmers’ market, or take an afternoon coffee break in one of the many cafés lining the square.
Vienna’s Storied Café Central
Vienna is known for its coffeehouse culture, and one of the city’s landmark coffeehouses is Café Central on Freyung Square. Opened in 1876, this elegant café has hosted some of Europe’s leading writers and thinkers under its soaring arches, including Freud and Trotsky. Today, you can admire the ornate architecture of the Palais Ferstel while sipping a Viennese coffee either inside the dining room or at one of the café’s outdoor tables.
- Bank Austria Kunstforum
- Beethoven Pasqualatihaus
- Vienna Museum of Illusions (Museum der Illusionen)
- University of Vienna (Universität Wien)
- St. Michael’s Church (Michaelerkirche)
- St. Peter's Church
- Time Travel Vienna
- Hofburg Imperial Palace (Hofburg Wien)
- Vienna Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus)
- Sisi Museum
- Historic Center of Vienna